Sky Media, the advertising sales arm of Sky, has today announced the return of SME100, a £2million support scheme for small businesses, giving them free access to TV advertising through AdSmart as they recover from the pandemic.
Through the scheme, 100 small businesses will receive £20,000 of TV advertising across Sky Media’s channels, double the value that was offered in 2020, alongside a free 12-month superfast business broadband and digital phone package.
Sky says that it wants to help small businesses succeed and stay connected to their customers, boosting their recovery as the nation emerges from lockdown. The return of SME100 takes Sky’s contribution to more than £4.5 million in advertising support for small businesses since the start of the pandemic.
The SME 100 is open to any small business that has been running for at least one year in the UK, with up to 50 full time employees. The businesses that are selected will be representative of the UK both from a geographic and diversity perspective. Aligned to Sky’s 2025 targets, it is aimed that 20% of winners will come from a minority ethnic background.
Businesses can nominate themselves online and will be selected by an internal panel at Sky. All applicants to the scheme will also receive a £250 discount for any 24-month Sky Connect broadband and digital phone package.
Stephen van Rooyen, EVP & CEO UK & Europe, Sky, said: “Small British businesses are more important to the UK economy than ever before. The pandemic has hit them hard, and we want to ensure they can bounce back even stronger. Through the SME100 scheme, we’re offering industry-leading products to help them stay connected to their customers and most importantly, increase their sales and revenue.
“In the last 12 months, Sky has contributed more than £4.5 million in advertising support for small businesses, and we’ll continue to do all we can to be there to help.”
Once selected, the 100 winning businesses will be put in touch with creative agencies in their local area to design and create their TV campaigns.
The campaigns will be delivered via AdSmart from Sky, an addressable TV platform, that enables brands to advertise on TV by focusing on the audiences that matter to them. This technology means a brand can reach households by postcode area, within a designated distance of their store, or by household make-up or lifestyle attributes that best suit their service.
Alongside the TV advertising campaign, each of the 100 businesses will be offered a free 12-month Sky Connect ‘Advantage’ business phone and broadband package.